Anti-Harassment Expectations and Reporting


Creating and maintaining an environment free from harassment is essential to successfully accomplishing DoDEA's mission. DoDEA cannot correct harassing conduct if the conduct is not known by to the appropriate people in the Agency who can take corrective action. As such, DoDEA employees and participants should report incidents they perceive as harassment, which includes those that they have personally experienced or witnessed, to the supervisor of the offending employee or and participant (if known), their supervisor, or to the local LMER representative.

As noted in the Anti-Harassment Policy Statement, internal harassment inquiries are separate and apart from the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process, and often runs concurrent to EEO inquiries. Further, allegations of workplace harassment do NOT require an EEO basis (i.e., based on a protected class, such as race or gender) unless they are processed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Programs process.

Anti-Harassment Policy Statement

The process and expectations for Employees and Management Officials for reporting and responding to harassment allegations are as follows:

A. Initiating a Harassment Allegation

  1. Employees and Participants can report incidents they perceive as harassment, which includes those that they have personally experienced or witnessed, to the supervisor of the offending employee or and participant (if known), their supervisor, or to the local LMER representative.
  2. Any employee or participant who believes he or she has been the target of sexual harassment is also encouraged to inform the offending person, orally or in writing, that such conduct is unwelcome and offensive and must stop. However, there is no requirement to communicate with the alleged harasser, particularly if the employee or participant does not wish to communicate directly with the offending person, or, if such communication has been ineffective in the past.

B. Management’s Responsibility

When management officials identify harassment or are notified about alleged harassment, they must:

  1. Take immediate and appropriate action for accusations of harassment involving management, coworkers, or non-employees.
  2. Once leadership is made aware of harassment, they have a responsibility, as agents of the agency, to address it.
  3. The first-line supervisor of the alleged harasser will conduct an inquiry, as explained below.

C. Harassment Inquiry Process

  1. Within 10-days of the allegations, managers will conduct and complete a limited inquiry with the specific purpose of determining the type of conduct being alleged, and whether that conduct is ongoing and/or severe and pervasive (or has the potential to become severe and pervasive).
  2. The initial inquiry can take many forms but should end when the supervisor is confident that; (a) harassment did not occur; or, (b) a more detailed inquiry is required. The initial inquiry must occur within 2-business days of the management official receiving the allegations.
  3. The supervisor must report the outcome of the initial inquiry to their next level supervisor with a proposed “next step” within 1-business day of concluding the initial inquiry. The management official should memorialize the steps they took, conclusions drawn, and next steps (if any) when reporting the outcome to the next level supervisor.
  4. If, following the initial inquiry, the management official conducting the inquiry is satisfied that no harassing conduct occurred (or is occurring), the management official will document their finding in an MFR.
  5. If, following that inquiry, management believes harassment is occurring, and/or has the potential to become severe and pervasive, the next level supervisor will appoint an agency representative to conduct a more formal inquiry. LMER can provide guidance on the formal inquiry process.
  6. If a more detailed inquiry is warranted, determination and corrective actions should normally occur within 60 days or less of the allegation being raised1.
  7. The existence or lack of harassment is determination from the facts on a case-by-case basis.

1 Not every allegation of harassment requires the same type of inquiry. Some will need to be more intensive depending on the nature, severity, and frequency of incidents, witnesses and complexity of allegations.

D. Interim Actions

  1. Some situations require immediate action while the harassment inquiry is underway. In those cases, temporary measures can be made until a determination is given2.
  2. Types of measures:
    1. No contact orders
    2. Temporary relocation/Telework
    3. Administrative leave (rare)

2 For example, interim measures may be appropriate for allegations of inappropriate touching, potential violence or program integrity risk, or to minimize harm

E. If Harassment is Found/ Corrective Actions

  1. Corrective action should prevent/stop harassment and correct any harmful effects on the complainant.
  2. Corrective actions don’t have to be what the complainant requested, as long as they are effective.
  3. Ensure consistency in disciplinary actions for similar behavior.
  4. Document disciplinary actions.
  5. Notify the individuals who raised the issues and provide them with a summary of outcome of the inquiry. Managers should not discuss any disciplinary actions taken against any alleged harasser. Consult with LMER for specific guidance.

F. Expectations of all Employees and Participants:

  1. Act professionally and refrain from harassing and retaliatory conduct.
  2. Fully cooperate in all inquiries
  3. Be mindful of your words or non-physical conduct that could be offensive.
    1. Examples of offensive words or conduct include, but are not limited to:
      1. Making negative comments about an employee’s personal religious beliefs, or trying to convert them to a certain religious ideology
      2. Using racist or sexist slang, phrases, or nicknames;
      3. Making remarks about an individual’s skin color or other ethnic traits;
      4. Displaying racist drawings, or posters that might be offensive to a particular group;
      5. Making offensive references to an individual’s mental or physical disability;
      6. Sharing inappropriate images, videos, e-mails, letters, or notes of an offensive nature;
      7. Offensively talking about negative racial, gender, ethnic, or religious stereotypes; or
      8. Making derogatory age-related comments
  4. Be mindful of physical conduct that could be offensive
    1. Examples of offensive physical conduct include, but are not limited to:
      1. Threatened assault;
      2. Hitting, punching, grabbing, massaging, other unwanted touching;
      3. Malicious or insulting gestures;
      4. Touching without permission; and,
      5. Personal space violations

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